How Women’s Sports Have Developed Since WWII

Humanity has been around for thousands of years, just how many is uncertain and females have had a hard time in the past. We know that in many civilisations, women were regarded as second-class citizens and it wasn’t until the 20th century that women received equal rights.

In this short article, we take a look at how women’s sports have developed in the last part of the 20th century and into the 21st.

World War II saw women’s rights advance in many ways; while the men were taking on combat roles, women manned lathes in the munitions factories, drove trucks and managed essential communications. When the war was finally over, women’s sports began to develop alongside male sports, with women’s clubs in tennis, badminton and squash, while more active sports such as soccer, rugby and cricket were also coming into the domain of women.

Title IX

The 50s and 60s saw women’s sports developing in Europe and the US; in 1972, Title IX of the Education Act was born. This saw the number of women playing college sports rise from 30,000 to more than 200,000 and that was the impetus women needed to push further. Fast forward to 2024 and women’s national team rankings for volleyball and indeed every sport are available online.

Olympic sports

Since 1968, women’s sport have made serious progress in the most prestigious sporting event in the world, namely the Olympic Games. It is only thanks to pioneering females within the sporting world that women’s sports have reached the level they currently enjoy.

Pay inequality

For many years, professional sports women received less money for their efforts than their male counterparts, indeed, as of today, pay equality for sportspeople is still an issue. Take any mainstream sport such as soccer or tennis; the top male players receive far more in terms of prize money than the women. This does seem to be changing, as female sports attract high audiences, as the men do.

Commercial value

Such is the standard of women’s sports, audiences are almost on a par with the men; guys who said they would never watch women boxing are now glued to fighters such as Katie Taylor, the Irish multiple World Champion. Soccer is a great example of how popular women’s sports have become, with all governing bodies fully supporting female athletes and competition. Sponsorship brings in more money and with continued momentum, female athletes are moving toward 100% equality with the sporting world.

Mixed sporting events

Take snooker as an example of a sport that has no gender division; mixed doubles is a discipline, the same with tennis, badminton and golf. You can expect to see both genders collaborating more as we move towards an inclusive and equal society.

The Internet is a global platform for sports of all types and every culture puts emphasis on sports for good health & well-being. The many gyms and sports facilities are a reflection of how sports play an integral role in 21st century society and we all enjoy watching the top female athletes compete at the highest level.